2 weeks down in Berlin! Just like I said last Monday, the weeks are flying by. I really cannot believe that I have already been here for two whole weeks, however, it feels nice to finally be settling in and feel like I am actually living in the city and am not just a tourist. Additionally, I have found that I am a little more relaxed and although I still try my best to do something every day even if it is small, that I am not so stressed about having to do stuff 24:7. I am also finding Berlin to be a very livable city as the public transportation is extremely easy to navigate and rarely does it take me more than 30 minutes to get to where I need to go. Additionally, although I was initially getting slightly frustrated having to be surrounded by a language that I am not able to speak, I have began to get used to it more and feel comfortable not being able to fully converse. Nevertheless, it helps that I have yet to meet someone who does not speak at least some English.
In terms of time management I feel like I have been getting a lot better as time has progressed and I have also started to settle into somewhat of a routine. I try to wake up just before 7 am in order to run to the gym which is about a mile away, work out, run back home, and proceed to rush to get ready for work. From there I stop by a local street vendor who sells fresh fruit daily, thus, I normally pick something up from him to eat on my 25 minute bus/train ride into work. Next, I am normally in the office from 9:15-5:30 and then get home by 6:00pm in order to change and figure out what I want to explore. All in all, I feel as if I have done really well in terms of time management as I am utilizing almost every second of my day to either work out, go to the office, or explore all that Berlin has to offer. I think it also helps that even at school or at home I am someone who is constantly doing something at all times of the day so I am used to budgeting my time accordingly.
This week at work I got to work on some really interesting tasks as well as some more monotonous ones, however, I am really starting to enjoy work more and more which I think can be contributed in part to my coworkers who have been so nice to me since I have arrived. Since Sirius is a publicly listed company the finance department has been working non stop preparing its annual report for the June 3rd deadline. In order to help I have been working a lot to proofread the first third of the report, cross reference a lot of the accounting reporting, contribute to part of the market outlook research with regards to the commercial real estate market in Germany, provide my manager with a report on Sirius’s historical funds for operations data and the trends going forward, help with the tax department, work with approving budgets for bonus purposes, and numerous other things as well.
Outside of the office this week I revisited the Monkey rooftop bar as well as visited a local irish pub that had really good live music on Tuesday. ( can definitely say that I was not expecting to hear the red hot chili peppers in Berlin). I also visited to victory column as the sun was setting and spent about two hours walking through the gorgeous tiergarten before ending up at the Brandenburg gate which is even more beautiful at night. Also, the Tiergarten is almost exactly like Central park and is very nice with some really cool hidden spots. Finally, I finished my Wednesday off going to a small live jazz bar. Thursday I visited the TV tower at sunset with some friends which although a little pricey was really cool since there are no skyscrapers in all of Berlin due to the height limit for all buildings you were able to see for miles. It was even cooler looking at the difference between east berlin and west berlin as the west is much more developed and full of shopping areas while the east has much more dull architecture with some more artistic areas as well. Friday I saw Bayern Munich as they were staying at the Ritz Carlton right outside my work for their game in Berlin and then went to the famous Watergate at night. Saturday I went for a day trip to the nearby Potsdam and saw the beautiful palace there which was absolutely astounding and finished the night off by going to Prince Charles and boy was it nice hearing hip hop and pop again (Techno is not my thing Berlin, I am sorry). Finally, I finished the week off on Sunday by going out to lunch with some of my coworkers before we went to the Alba Berlin basketball playoff game which they won in order to sweep the series 3-0. The game was definitely a highlight of the trip and it was so cool seeing how passionate the fans are about Alba and how the game is very similar to that of a college basketball game which is not that much of a surprise given the fact that some of the players had played for the likes of Michigan and Uconn.
2 weeks down, 6 to go! My family is coming into town Wednesday night which should make for a fun week especially since Thursday is a national holiday in Germany.